My initial response to Diablo 3 wasn’t the best. I hated the fact that I needed to be always online, especially during launch week, where servers had difficulties keeping up. While I was happy that I could play by myself, which has been the way I always enjoyed the predecessor the most, I felt somewhat pressured to play with others. The ability to sell items for real money didn’t upset me at first, but when I realized how it influenced loot drops, my motivation to play the game for a longer period of time pretty much vanished. It was only with the release of the addon, Reaper of Souls, combined with the huge update that got rid of the auction house, that the game became worth playing again.
I think Blizzard also shows, how much good long-term support can help a game and its audience. The addition of Adventure Mode and Nephalem Rifts was a huge step in terms of endgame content. Adding seasons and was also a great idea and has me coming back to the game regularly in order to try out new classes and trying to get all the seasonal rewards. It’s a very impressive move by Blizzard and it has made a game that I wasn’t terribly impressed by turn into one of my favourites.
It’s even more impressive when you think about the fact, that those updates came for free. Outside of the Reaper of Souls addon, new content has always been free, including the mini expansion that hit the game with patch 2.4. It reminds me a lot of how Nintendo has been updating Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon, and I really hope that this becomes more and more a thing that more publishers and developers will do.